GoodReads Summary: Polishing Jade is set in the 1960’s in rural Mississippi where the secrets are as sticky as the jams sold at Taylor’s General Store. Jade Gentry is a young girl whose past will not control her future even if it cost her everything. Gripping and suspenseful, Jade will leave you sighing when she sighs, running when she runs, and celebrating when she is triumphant! Meet an odd cast of characters, including kindly Miss Ellen, a superstitious woman who plants corn in front of her living room window, Renee a peculiar woman who instinctively knows the deep hidden secrets of Jade, and a school teacher who begins the process of Polishing Jade.
(I received a free copy of the audible version for an honest review)
Polishing Jade is a story of a girl who finds comfort in her religion while facing one hardship after another. The title is more than appropriate. Yes, Jade begins as an innocent. The stormy times in her life rip that away, leaving her raw and exposed. The people that come into her life and bless her, leave her shining and beautiful by the end.
This story is a contradiction to the more contemporary settings where the female protagonist seems to invite more and more drama into the story just to pull the reader along. Actually, I don’t know if that is a sign of the times. Once, a girl could call on her Faith, be guided by good Samaritans, and have the ease of trusting others. Now, similar stories drive the protagonist to make questionable safety and unsteady ethical choices, which while making an interesting tale, does not give the reader any sense that the world around them is safe.
In these times, where the public looks upon the South as violent rednecks, it is refreshing to be reminded of a time and place where stories like these were much more common. “Southern Hospitality” is a matter of pride, and has been for a very long time. Polishing Jade shows us that where there are hard times (pretty much no matter where you are) there are special people out there willing to help.
The narrator has a soft, general southern accent. It is not indicative of a specific place in the south. Speaking as someone from Mississippi where some accents can feel like nails on a chalkboard, Felisha Caldeira does a good job keeping an even keel throughout her performance.